Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson's footballing skills a nice surprise - Jurgen Klopp

LIVERPOOL, England -- Jurgen Klopp has told ESPN Brasil that he has been taken aback by the football-playing skills of Liverpool goalkeeper Alisson.

Alisson, who joined from Roma for £65 million in the summer, found Roberto Firmino with a long-range pass to help set up the fourth goal in Liverpool's 5-1 thrashing of Arsenal on Saturday.

Asked whether he had been surprised by either of his Brazilian summer signings, midfielder Fabinho being the other, Klopp said: "Well, maybe that Ali is such a good football player.

"It was always very clear that he was a very influential player with the ball, but that he's this good I didn't see it, honestly -- maybe because of a different style Roma played.

"That was a little bit of a surprise, and a very nice surprise."

Alisson has kept 12 clean sheets in the Premier League to help Liverpool to a seven-point lead at the top over Manchester City ahead of the sides' meeting at the Etihad Stadium on Thursday.

The two sides played each other four times last season, with Liverpool ending City's 22-match unbeaten start before knocking them out of the Champions League in the quarterfinals.

"I like these games," Klopp said. "Sometimes if you prepare a football game, watching two or three games of the opponent, you still have no clue what they are doing.

"With Arsenal, City, Chelsea, Tottenham, it's really different. You know exactly what they are doing. They are still unbelievably difficult to defend [against], but you can see somehow that they have a clear plan.

"That's, of course, like this with Man City. They are on the top of that. That makes it really challenging, but it makes it exciting as well. I'm always looking forward to these games.

"But it depends on your own situation as well. If we have a full squad, all players available, then the preparation is a joy. The game itself is unbelievably hard work, but that's how it is."

A win for Liverpool would see them extend their advantage at the top to 10 points, but defender Andrew Robertson warned that City would be pushing Liverpool all the way until May.

"They'll be looking at it that they can close the gap to four points, which isn't as big," he told reporters. "It's a massive game, of course it is. It's two good teams going at it, and we look forward to it.

"But Tottenham [in third] will be looking to capitalise as well because we both play each other, so both of us can't pick up full points.

"This will go the whole way, but we're in a good position just now. It's about continuing that and trying to build on every game that we play."